Goff’s “gaff”

by Jake Quinn

Your damned if you do and your damned if you don’t. That is the message coming out of an interesting narrative from tonight’s television coverage of Phil Goff’s strikingly sensible clarification that really really rich people shouldn’t have their spouse getting emergency dole payments under a recession related income support scheme announced by Labour yesterday.

“A backflip by Labour’s leader is being labelled his biggest blunder yet just eight months into the job.” They say.


The thing that irritates me most about this “news story” (besides from me wondering what the hell is going on) is the message it sends to politicians.

That is, that if you announce a policy, and then sensible people suggest you should refine it one way or another, that you should never ever act on this advice because it would then become a flip flip, for which you will be murdered by the  “gotchya” press.

Naturally, this leads to the default position of “defend every policy announcement to the death regardless of the merits of it’s criticism”, which is a dangerous and counterproductive attitude.

(Although perhaps one being observed by the fundamentalist display of loyalty to that inspiring $50 million national cycle thing.)